“Lord, give us peace, for you have given us everything.” Isaiah 26:12 (LXX)

To you, dear friends, my best wishes for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and for the New Year 2022.

God himself offers festal wishes to all of us, Christians and others, because God always takes the initiative. He it is who prepared the choir of angels to bring us the angelic, cosmic song of Beit Sahour and Bethlehem, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2: 14)

It is God, Jesus himself, New-born in Bethlehem, who addresses this hymn to us, wishing all of us joy, peace and happiness. Christmas is God’s great initiative for all the children of this earth.

This is Christmas: the mystery of Christmas, mystery of the Incarnation, mystery of the Advent of God to our earth. This is the mystery of God's encounter with the children of this earth, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” (John 1: 14) He came to proclaim Peace to us near and far. He killed enmity among men. (cf. Ephesians 2: 13-14) This is God's programme for humans, the Christmas programme, the programme from heaven to earth.

It is above all God’s programme to achieve peace among the men of this world.

How we need peace in the East! We experience a cycle of enmity, hatred, aggression, war, starting from Palestine, the cradle of Jesus, Prince of Peace. Our young people, whole generations of children, are brought up to enmity.

It is beautiful to see, here and there, initiatives and contracts between Arab states and Israel, but there can be no true, lasting, comprehensive, common peace between Arabs and Israelis, without peace for Palestine, and the recognition of the rights of Palestinians to a homeland, identity, dignity and heritage.

This is the wish of all nations and is the subject of all international resolutions. These are the wishes of us all, and the subject of our prayers. This must be the object of the efforts of all Arab countries, Israel and Palestine, Europe, Russia, the United States, China, Iran - and anyone who loves peace.

Peace is the guarantee of communal and international living, living together, Muslim-Christian dialogue, solidarity, and the development of stability and of security. It is the guarantee of the Christian presence and role in building together a civilization of love and peace, our human civilization.

Happy Feast! Holy Year 2022!

Gregorios III
Patriarch Emeritus

The Social Centre, Dar al-Inayah, Salhieh, Saida, P.O.B. 17, Lebanon
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Teachings of Christ

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 ESV)

Theophany

At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * “You have come, and You have appeared , O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

It was said about John the Little that one day he said to his older brother: "I want to be free from care and not to work but to worship God without interruption." And he took his robe off, and went into the desert. After staying there one week, he returned to his brother. And when he knocked at the door, his brother asked without opening it: "Who is it?" He replied: "It's John, your brother." The brother said: "John has become an angel and is not among people anymore." Then he begged and said: "It's me!" But his brother did not open the door and left him there in distress until the next morning. And he finally opened the door and said: "If you are a human being, you have to work again in order to live." Then John repented, saying: "Forgive me, brother, for I was wrong."

Sayings of the Desert Fathers